Small Scale Solar Projects underway in Nashville

Published January 12, 2016

Green Hills News – January 7, 2016

LightWave Solar is ramping up its sales, marketing and operational efforts to accommodate participation in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) recently announced 2016 Green Power Providers Program for small-scale solar projects. Under the new program that opens on January 13, TVA will pay homeowners and small businesses the escalating retail rate for 100% of their solar power over the next 20 years. This announcement comes after TVA closed its 2015 program on November 17.

“We are excited to get confirmation on the 2016 solar program,” said Brian Bickel, Sales Director at LightWave Solar, an experienced solar installer based in Nashville. “TVA’s solar reimbursement is a good deal for small businesses and homeowners. However, TVA has placed a cap on the number of projects they will allow in 2016 and we wish TVA allowed more projects in the program,” he says.

TVA’s Green Power Providers Program has closed several times over the last three years due to high demand and the annual program cap of 10 megawatts for the seven state area TVA serves. LightWave Solar expects the 2016 program to hit capacity well before the end of the year.

“We don’t want small businesses or homeowners to miss the boat on TVA’s 2016 program which could close at any time,” said Bickel. “Several of our customers didn’t make it into the 2015 program, and they are eagerly awaiting the January 13 opening so they can move ahead with their project,” he says.

One such small business is Precision Air, a Nashville-based heating, cooling and geothermal contractor. Owner Tony LaFrenier wanted to get his company’s solar project into TVA’s program this year, but the program closed abruptly in November after hitting capacity.

“I’m looking forward to getting TVA’s approval to build this project,” LaFrenier says. “With the 30 percent tax credit, it makes great financial sense, and since I am passionate about renewable energy, it’s the right thing for us to do,” he said.

Nashville is making strides to promote an environmentally friendly way of life for its residents.

According to Urban Land Institute Nashville (ULI), more than 40% of America’s carbon emissions come from heating, cooling, lighting and operating buildings. Nashville’s urban neighborhoods are characterized by unique, historic homes and thus that percentage is even higher.

“Go Green” Nashville started as a small pilot initiative by the ULI Nashville Sustainability Committee, targeting an urban neighborhood within the city, and has now taken off. ‘The program has mushroomed to other districts in Nashville and has become incredibly popular,’ said Owens, founder of the initiative. “The response from homeowners is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Under the dynamic leadership of ULI Nashville Sustainability Chairman, Mark Deutschmann (Village Real Estate Services/Core Development Services), Go Green has engaged a diversity of partners and participants. What began as a single council district, grass-roots initiative on ‘Retrofit for Energy Efficiency’ has grown to engage districts across the Metro, the Mayor’s Office, and a broad team of volunteers and partners. The long-range impact on our carbon footprint from increased energy efficiency and decreased energy usage is exciting, and the campaign, which continues to evolve, is a showcase for similar opportunities across the region.

For more information on solar energy systems, and help applying for the TVA program, contact LightWave Solar at 615-641-4050 or For information about ULI, visit